…one of the greatest truths in psychology is that the mind is divided into parts that sometimes conflict. To be human is to feel pulled in different directions, and to marvel—sometimes in horror—at your inability to control your own actions. The Roman poet Ovid lived at a time when people thought diseases were caused by imbalances of bile, but he knew enough psychology to have one of his characters lament: “I am dragged along by a strange new force. Desire and reason are pulling in different directions. I see the right way and approve it, but follow the wrong”.
“In his great philosophical work An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, David Hume speculated on the universal nature of human morality: “The notion of morals implies some sentiment common to all mankind, which recommends the same object to general approbation, and makes every man, or most men, agree in the same opinion or decision concerning it” Is there a moral sentiment common to all humans? Are there moral universals?
“Shocked as we may be today by drastic contrasts between the standards of living in modern industrial nations and the standards of living in Third World countries, such disparities have been common for thousands of years of recorded history. These disparities have extended beyond wealth to the things that create wealth— including the knowledge, skills, habits and discipline that have developed unequally in different geographic, cultural and political settings.”